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Beverly Hills Embraces Accessory Dwelling Units to Combat Housing Shortage

In a significant move to address the housing shortage, the Beverly Hills Planning Commission has approved an ordinance to promote the installation of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), also known as granny flats. These small, self-contained apartments on residential lots are becoming a pivotal solution in areas traditionally reserved for single-family homes, which make up 75% of Beverly Hills’ land use.

Since 2017, California has passed a series of laws to simplify the ADU construction process. These laws have removed barriers such as minimum lot sizes, eased parking requirements, and streamlined approvals. The recent ordinance by the Planning Commission on January 25th aims to align the city’s standards with state laws and introduce additional incentives for homeowners to build ADUs. This initiative is awaiting final approval from the City Council.

Planning Commissioner Myra Demeter views this ordinance as a progressive step and a message to the state that Beverly Hills is actively encouraging ADU development. This comes at a crucial time as Beverly Hills strives to meet state housing demands, including the creation of approximately 3,100 new units by 2029.

The updated ordinance offers more generous provisions for lot size, building height, and floor area for ADUs, with the exception of the Trousdale neighborhood. This decision was made to protect the iconic views that Trousdale residents cherish, addressing concerns raised by the Trousdale Neighborhood Estate Association.

To further encourage ADU construction, the Planning Department is developing pre-approved plans for various ADU types, such as backyard cottages and garage conversions. This initiative aims to simplify the design and permitting process, making it more accessible for homeowners.

Beverly Hills has already witnessed a surge in ADU installations, with over 80 permits issued between 2019 and 2023. This trend is expected to continue, contributing significantly to the city’s housing goals.

Residents interested in exploring ADU opportunities can find more information and resources at

The push for ADUs in Beverly Hills represents a forward-thinking approach to urban development and housing. By embracing these versatile living spaces, the city is not only addressing its immediate housing needs but also setting a precedent for sustainable and inclusive urban planning.